Digital Strategy

9 Tips to Help SME’s Get More Bang for Their Bucks

Every month I get calls from SME's looking to improve their web presence. A typical call would start off like this, “I have a website [probably built on WordPress] and I'm having having trouble updating it, is this something that you can help you with?”. These types of call are usually from people who are a little bit disgruntled by the fact that they have to pay their web developers to make minor changes or have possibly forgotten how to update their sites themselves.

When you dig a little deeper you find this is not the only issue that they are having. And, more often than not, and after asking a couple questions, you can find out that there are probably a whole raft of tools they could be using and techniques they could be employing to improve their website presence.

So, here are a list of simple tools and techniques that SME's can be employing to maximise their web presence.

1. Website page titles and meta descriptions.

Page titles can be seen in the search results when you do a Google search and the in the tab of your browser:

They are often generated from page/post headlines (especially if you're using WordPress) but can be changed to be more focused for your target audience. Try to make sure the focused keywords for that page appear here. If you want advice on keywords, try Ubersuggest or Google's Keyword Planner. Meta descriptions (which often but not always) appear under the page title can give the searcher more detail about the link they are about to click. It is hard work but it is worth working on Page Titles and Meta Descriptions on your key pages. (more…)


Calling All Social Media Marketers

As many of you know I have been working with companies on Social Media training for over 10 years and in that time I have delivered training to more than 900 people from hundreds of companies.

Everyone who attends will have been introduced to the importance of developing a Social Media plan and will leave with a thorough understanding of the main Social Media channels, techniques and knowledge of Social Media best practice. Delegates fall into two broad camps:

  1. Those who will implement Social Media.
  2.  Those who understand Social Media and will get someone else to implement for them.

We are interested in helping both types of delegates. Either mentoring the first group or developing strategies and 'doing' the Social Media side for clients.

And for that I am looking for a team of consultants who I can work with to help customers plan and implement Social Media.

So, if you're good at Social Media, I would love to hear from you.

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Industries? Experience in developing strategies? Which social media channels?

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Gain CIM’s Certificate in Professional Marketing

For just under a year CIM have been offering the new-look CIM Level 4 Certificate in Professional Marketing and since January 2018 Marketing Tom has officered this qualification. The aim of the qualification is to provide the practising marketer with relevant, contemporary marketing content to equip them for the current global landscape. One of the main draws of CIM qualifications is the ability to bring learning to life through meaningful assessments which embrace the modern marketing industry. We have a achieved a 100% Pass Rate across all CIM/CAM courses since 2015 with 84% achieving A's and B's

Who is it for?

The CIM Level 4 Certificate in Professional Marketing is aimed at the aspiring professional marketer who wishes to gain knowledge and skills to succeed and progress with a career in marketing. Ideal for those working in marketing support roles (e.g. marketing assistants) or whose current job encompasses elements of marketing.

How it will benefit you?


– Get a unique opportunity to blend practical skills with academic understanding
– Improve your global competitive advantage, increase your confidence and employability
– Keep up with the latest trends and stay ahead in your field
– Invaluable opportunity to network with other marketers
– CIM qualifications are recognised by businesses all over the world

What should I do next?

Check out the qualification and each of the modules on the CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing page. You will find the upcoming dates (you can start with any module) and download the brochure from this page.


Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2018

Every year Mary Meeker delivers one of the most anticipated presentations on Internet trends. This year it was delivered at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The slides below cover all aspects of Internet trends relating to smartphones, time spent on the Internet, mobile payments, voice-controled applications, e-commerce sales, and offer insights into both companies (like Amazon and Google) and countries (such as China). It runs out to 294 slides and here are some interesting points:

  • 3.6 billion people or half the world is on the Internet
  • eCommerce revenue was up 16% in 2017 in the U.S. versus 14% the previous year
  • Often when people start out in eCommerce they go to companies like Shopify and take payments through companies like Square
  • People's product searches begin either with Amazon (49%) or with search engines like Google (36%)
  • But discovery is emerging as a way to find products, especially on platforms like Facebook and Instagram
  • Social media is enabling more efficient product discovery in commerce
  • eCommerce referrals from social media, are at 6% versus 2% in 2015
  • 45% of Spotify's monthly active users are subscribers versus 0% when they launched the subscription product 10 years ago
  • 79% of US consumers are willing to share 'Personal data' for 'Clear Personal Benefit'

There is a lot of very useful data here which can give you an insight into where the Internet is heading and, possibly, where your focus as an organisation should be. China and AI are worth particular attention on this slide deck.

Here's the video presentation of the Internet Trends:

And here is the slide deck:


Launch of the CIM Digital Diploma in Professional Marketing

We are excited to announce that from June of this year Marketing Tom will be offering the new CIM Digital Diploma in Professional Marketing.

This is a new qualification designed to offer progression from a number of digitally focused Level 4 qualifications available within the sector and also links with the existing Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing. The aim of the Level 6 Digital Diploma in Professional Marketing is to provide the practicing marketer with relevant, contemporary marketing content to equip them for the current global landscape.

Marketing Tom, as many of you are aware, have delivered the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing for many years and scores of people have successfully completed this qualification. This qualification will be retired in July 2018 but we are confident that many of our CAM and CIM Level 4 students, along with marketers who may not be familiar with Marketing Tom, will relish the opportunity to study 3 'pure digital' modules at this higher level.

Our approach to delivery will be slightly different to other modules. We plan to deliver courses over two 1-day training days (on consecutive months) and 1 Saturday revision/ assessment planning day. We anticipate that there will be two cohorts per year and numbers will be a limited to a maximum of 12 per course.

Here's an overview of the qualification from the CIM:

If you'd like more information, please visit the CIM Digital Diploma in Professional Marketing page or call us on 02920 005 778.

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12 websites digital marketers should be reading

Photo by Ewan Robertson on UnsplashThe Internet is awash with blogs, news sites, and social media outlets but which websites can give you new insights and help to steal a lead over your competitors? We have compiled a list of 12 sites which we think will give you the competitive advantage. Bookmark them, follow them, Flip them or just visit them!

Wired

Wired has been around since the early 1990's and continues to offer cutting-edge articles on a range of subjects from business to culture. It is well-known for articles on the latest developments in technology. Gotta be one of my favourites!

Sample article: The Blockchain Explained

Harvard Business Review

An excellent read especially if you're looking for articles on strategy, working effectively and HR, to name but a few. Many of the articles are free though sometimes, for more in-depth articles, you will need to subscribe.

Sample article: Why a Gen-X CEO Hired a Millennial to Help Him Keep a Learning Mindset

Fortune

There was a time when Fortune had a pure focus on "C-suite" business news. Like many other publications/websites it now seems to offering wider reading options, though many of its articles are aimed at chief executives, chief financial officers, etc.

Sample article: Here's Why Twitter Won't Suspend or Delete Donald Trump's Account

MIT Sloan Review

Fascinating articles on a range of subjects aimed at "academic researchers, business executives and other influential thought leaders about advances in management practice, particularly those shaped by technology, that are transforming how people lead and innovate." A very good read for those doing level 4 and level 6 CIM qualifications, along with marketing and business under/post graduates.

Sample article: Are You Taking the Wrong Approach to Digital Transformation?

Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Bloomberg produces titles on subject like markets, tech and business. Though quite a lot of the articles are US focused, often on US politics/business, there are still interesting reads to be found here.

Sample article: Facebook Is Still In Denial About Fake News

Entrepreneur

This magazine seems to have a focus on start-ups, franchisees and would-be entrepreneurs. You will find the usual "get rich" and investment articles but you'll also find interesting articles on digital marketing and interview tips, networking and tips on growing your business.

Sample article:  The Face of Intelligent Marketing? Your Customer

Inc.

A quick look at the sections of this American website/magazine will give you an idea of the primary focus of its articles: Startup, Lead, Grow, Innovate and Technology. Articles are often varied, relatively easy and short to read.

Sample Article5 Productivity Tips to Get Your Work Done (Now That It's Dark at 4 P.M.)

AdWeek

Guess what? It's about advertising! Anything and everything to do with advertising. It also has a healthy mix of articles relating to digital marketing which is always of interest to our clients. Stats and case studies make it of interest to students.

Sample articleThese Digital Billboards From McDonald’s Change Depending on How Bad the Traffic Is

Fast Company

This is one of my favourite magazines (alongside Wired) and, as their site says, "Fast Company is the world’s leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, leadership, world changing ideas, and design". So, there you have it!

Sample article: For Amazon, The Future Of Alexa Is About The End Of The Smartphone Era

Entrepreneurship - NY Times

Entrepreneurs, start-ups, innovation, funding and small business - these are the topics you will find on this website. Like its parent site, the Entrepreneur section offers meaty and interesting articles which are also well-written. Not as frequent as others but worth a read.

Sample articleA Paintbrush in One Hand, and a Drink in the Other

VentureBeat

If Big data, Cloud, Deals, Dev, Enterprise, Entrepreneur, Gaming, Mobile, Security, Small Biz, and Social float your boat then Venture Beat may be the place for you to check out. Definitely worth a read.

Sample article: AI Weekly: Digital assistants are changing business, but they still need human help

TechCrunch

TechCrunch covers the business side of technology. When news breaks about the latest digital innovations/disruptions TechCrunch is often the first to break it. Its Crunchbase offers great insights into people, investments and companies in the tech industry. Another "must-read" publication.

Sample articleTwitter fixes another important problem with support for 50-character usernames


Is the CIM Foundation Certificate for you?

Marketing Tom will soon be delivering to its 3rd cohort of Foundation Certificate in Marketing students. We are pleased to say that so far, students who have sat the course, have all passed - most with A's and B's.

So, is the course for you? The aim of the CIM Level 3 Foundation Certifcate in Marketing is to equip you with the skills, knowledge and understanding to perform professionally when you are new to marketing. The great thing about this, and many other CIM qualifications, is that they bring learning to life through meaningful assessments which refect the demands of the modern industry. As a result, you will develop a good understanding of the wider role of marketing and learn practical skills which can be applied to future career progression.

And, who is it aimed at? The CIM Level 3 Foundation Certifcate in Marketing is aimed at those either in a job that already involves marketing or those who wish to fnd out about marketing with the intention of starting out on a marketing career. It is ideal for people at all stages of their career, especially managers in a non-marketing function, entrepreneurs, apprentices and those starting out in their marketing careers.

What should you do next? Head over to our CIM Foundation Certificate in Marketing page where you can book on to the course, download a brochure or just enquire for more information.


Mapping the Customer Journey with Google

According to Google their Think with Google website is their way of sharing some of the data they have collated with businesses and organisations. You will find heaps of data on mobile, gaining, YouTube, shopping insights, micro moments, mobile app and much more. If you're developing campaigns, websites or mobile apps, you will find it of particular interest. Today I came across Google's Customer Journey to Online Purchase.  It allows you to (broadly) get an idea of which acquisition tools - like Organic Search, Paid Search and referral - your customers use on the path to becoming a customer. You simply enter the details of your business: the size (SME, medium or small), the industry and the country and Google's interactive map will show you which channels people are using along the way to becoming a customer. Google's journey identifies early assist interactions and last interactions. Here is the customer journey for the Business & Industrial industry.

journey1

With regards channels Google lets you select a specific channel  so that you can see its importance on the journey and it also offers tips on which approach you should be using for each. For example, if I select Generic Search I end up with this explanation:

Your Generic Paid Search campaign may have a different impact on your customers depending on when they interact with it. At the beginning of the purchase path, Generic Paid Search helps customers gain awareness of your product or service. In the middle, it creates desire and boosts interest. And at the end, it helps to seal the deal.

Consumer Barometer

This is a really neat tool from Google that helps you analyse the different ways that people use the Internet around the world. Google has collected some good data here that companies (and students) will find very useful and consist of 4 tools.

  • Graph Builder
  • Trended data
  • Audience stories: Brand advocates, Digital Moms, How to videos users and millennials.
  • Discover curated insight

Other Articles of Interest

Social Media Trends 2016
Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors
7 Ways Google Search Console Can Improve Your SEO

Related Courses

1-Day Digital Marketing Courses
CIM/CAM Qualifications


The Content Marketing Matrix

Are you looking for ideas to help you develop your content marketing strategy? Well, you just might find this matrix, created by First 10 and Smart Insights, to be of use. I'm sure it will start you thinking of the huge number of ways you can get your target audience to engage with your content (and hence your company or brand) and to think of the types of content that exist out on the internet. As Danyl Bosomworth says, the matrix "is structured to help you think through the dimensions of different content based on how your audience might think and what you're trying to achieve as a business".

content-matrix

Students on the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing and the digital electives of the Certificate in Professional Marketing and the Diploma in Professional Marketing will be familiar with the term content marketing and its many applications. For those who are new to content marketing here is a definition from the Content Marketing Institute:

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

I'm sure that for this looking to develop content marketing strategies or students looking to get some inspiration/ideas on how to answer exam papers, this will prove to be very useful. So,  why not download this useful template today and use it to kickstart your content marketing strategy?